Setting Down to Type a Masterpiece – Photophile Musings

When I was younger, I actually owned a vintage typewriter; I believe it formerly belonged to a family member. It was painted a pale green, and I can’t recall the brand, but it actually still worked. In the late 90’s, though, it was impossible to acquire a new ribbon for it. Nowadays, they actually produce universal typewriter ribbons for vintage manual typewriters. It’s sitting in my parents’ house basement still to this day. I’m fairly certain it’s not a particularly valuable model in any case.

But, of course, as a writer, I’ve always wanted to own a vintage typewriter, in particular, an old Royal. So, when I came across one at an antique mall in Vermont, I was stoked. It was in somewhat rough shape, and it didn’t have its original case. They were asking a couple hundred dollars for it, and I balked a bit at that price, considering the condition. With case, I could potentially purchase one for that much. So, Thomas and I perused the rest of the antique mall, finding nothing that was worth the sticker price. When she and I returned, a couple of teenagers had one of the antique mall workers snatch it up right as we came towards it. They looked at us like, oh well, you lost out!

I was actually brought to tears by their rudeness. All I really wanted it for was as a showpiece for my desk, and that entire antique mall was so overpriced that it left a bad taste in my mouth. I was so shaken and upset by that experience that Thomas suggested I simply take to eBay and purchase one. To my delight, there was exactly one model exactly like the one we’d seen, but in far better condition, with the original case (not pictured here.) So, to my delight, within a week this vintage beauty showed up. Both Thomas and I took photographs of it from all sorts of angles, but this was the favorite that I personally took.

This typewriter is still sitting on my desk today, although I keep it covered for the most part to protect it from dust. It does actually work perfectly fine mechanically, although obviously it needs a new ribbon. Again, I don’t plan to actually use it anymore, since my nerve issues make it impossible for me to type more than a few words on those old keys before my hands cramp up. So much for the dream of writing my first novel using only a manual typewriter, but at least now the tool has been acquired!

Thank you so much, Thomas, for allowing me to own this piece of writing history! <3

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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